Boats travel in the Egyptian Nile River in Cairo May 28, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
CAIRO - 2 July 2019: The Nile Protection and Development Sector at the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources has recently removed 23 encroachments along the Nile River in six governorates that are Kafr El Sheikh, Menya, Sohag, Damietta, Gharbeya, and Beheira.
Subsequently, the total number of cleared away encroachments along the Nile River has become 46,306 out of 52,777 cases detected since January 5, 2015 in the 16 governorates lying on the banks of the Nile River.
In January, law enforcement agencies recovered in 48 hours 500,000 square meters of built-up area, and 8,200 feddans of agricultural land clearing encroachments under the supervision of the Supreme Committee for State Land Restoration.
The figures below are pertinent to the 12th round of the campaign launched in 2017 by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to restore state-owned lands and evict squatters.
The largest area of agricultural land occupied by squatters was in Minya, where violations on 7,800 feddans were removed. That is in addition to clearing 55,000 square meters of built-up land.
Cairo had the largest surface of built-up area occupied by squatters as the total surface of cleared lands is 305,000 square meters.
In October, the Law Enforcement Forces demolished 1 million square meters of building violations and 10,000 feddans of encroachments on agricultural lands across Egyptian governorates in four days.
In January, Egypt’s House of Representatives approved new amendments to the Agriculture Law, imposing tougher penalties on building on arable lands. As per these amendments, constructions on arable lands are banned and violators would face penalties of up to 2-5 years in prison and a fine ranging between LE 100,000 ($ 5,648) and LE 5 million.
The old articles of the Agriculture Law stipulated that building on lands or changing the arable land to a non-agricultural land was punishable by up to a 6-month imprisonment term and a fine ranging between LE 10,000 and LE 50,000.
Encroachments include illegal construction on the Nile banks, unlicensed fish farming and disposal of industrial waste as well as other forms of pollution.